Squeezed by Yoof ‘n Shakespeare

Today, when giving a presentation to a group of business people on the topic of copywriting, I was asked how I balanced the desire to write ‘standard English’ with the more casual style of English usage that is developing.

I replied that whatever anyone writes has to sound natural to the intended audience, otherwise they will not accept it. To force what I perceive as correct grammar or punctuation on someone who takes a different view would be as ludicrous as writing in a Shakespearian style for a modern business audience (not that I would ever claim to be in the same league as Shakespeare).

So style has to adapt to suit the audience, and I find there are some styles, especially some of those aimed at youth markets, in which I would not be happy writing. I don’t say they are necessarily wrong, but they are not my cup of tea and I’m not sure I would be that good at writing in these styles.

Is this a problem? I don’t see it as one and I believe it adds to the variety of the English language. If there are lots of writers writing in lots of different styles, that must be a good thing.

Robert Zarywacz